Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Baby Gifts on the Glowforge

There is an awesome trend happening with libraries: maker spaces! The Louisville Free Public Library has two locations with maker spaces housing 3D printers, sewing machines, vinyl cutters, and even laser cutters and engravers. Recently I was able to use a Glowforge at the library to make two adorable wall decorations for my cousin's baby shower.

She's having twins(!!) and when I learned of the theme for their nursery, I wanted to make some palm leaf signs to match. As an Elizabeth, I am usually able to find my name all over things at stores and souvenir shops, but these little guys have unique names (Brooks and Ellis), so I wanted to personalize the palm leaves for them.

The first step for this project was to design some cut files (.SVG) in Inkscape (a free, open-source design software). You could use Adobe Illustrator or other design software as well. For this project, I did two separate cut files: one of the palm leaf design and one with the baby names in a script font.

Once I had my cut files, the next step was to arrange them in the Glowforge web app. The palm leaf design was cut twice out of 12x12" plywood boards.

It's really fun to watch the laser cutter do it's thing. I didn't have any engraving on this project, so it was pretty fast with just the cutting. You might be able to see that I had a stray line at the bottom of my vector file, but it's okay because it didn't affect the finished look of the leaf.

This might be weird, but I like the smell of the burnt plywood because it reminds me of a fireplace. When I lifted the leaf out of the Glowforge, the background and middle holes stayed behind to be re-purposed for other projects.

Once the leaves were cut, it was time to upload the babies' names in the script font. This screenshot is what the file looks like when it's been uploaded into the web app, but you haven't yet placed the material in the machine. Unfortunately I was a bad blogger and didn't take any in process shots of the cut for the baby names.

Once the pieces were all cut, I decided to color the palm leafs. By using baby wipes to apply the acrylic paint to the palm leaves, I hoped to give them more of a wood "stained" look than a painted look. The paint color was "Parakeet Green" by Handmade Modern, which you can find at Target. I left the baby name pieces unpainted for the natural look, and used some tacky glue to attach them to the palm leaves. I made sure to let them dry overnight before wrapping them up for the baby shower!

What do you think? I think they turned out pretty good! Have you ever used a Glowforge before? Got any tips for beginners?

Thursday, January 23, 2020


It's been too long since my last post. Thus is the way with blogging sometimes, but it can be embarrassing. Crafting is such a big part of my life and I've always got a project going, so my vow is to share that by blogging more in 2020.